‘Trails of Thread’: Exhibition inside the ‘Adain Avion’ – The Mobile Arts Space Plane

The ‘Trails of Thread’ installation consists of artwork created during a series of Workshop sessions run by Llandudno based artist Wendy Couling. Working with the Textile-based group ‘Serentex’, including members of the Embroiderers Guild, and also a series of Masterclass sessions with members of the community. Using Wendy’s own work on perspex and aluminium as a starting point, the artwork is based on the participant’s collection of memories of Llandudno, and thus builds a connection between the fuselage of Adain Avion and the local landscape.

I was thrilled to be a part of the exhibition initially housed inside the DC plane that was the centrepiece of the Adain Avion project. The exhibition only lasted two hours and I was on hand to help with the install and take down, alongside our other studio-mates Gerallt and Toni. The exhibition then moved onto Mostyn Gallery where it will hang for two weeks [until July 25th].

Part of the London 2012 FestivalAdain Avion is one of 12 London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Artists taking the lead commissions to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in creative ways across the UK, and has been funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council of Wales. Adain Avion is Curated and Directed by Marc Rees, co-produced by Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea University and receives additional funding from: Major Events Unit, Welsh Government; City and County of Swansea; Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and Conwy Borough Council.

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‘Adain Avion’ mobile arts space lands in Llandudno

Photo by Marc Rees

On Sunday July 8th the fuselage of a DC aeroplane landed on the promenade in Llandudno, the third destination of the wingless plane’s “flight” around Wales, having previously nested in Swansea and Ebbw Vale, it will reach its final destination in August when it comes into land at the National Eisteddfod of Wales which in 2012 occupies a former airfield in Llandow, Vale of Glamorgan.

The wreckage of the DC-9 plane was discovered by Spanish sculptor and designer Eduardo Cajal in a scrapyard, having crashed with no fatalities, Cajal decided to transform the fuselage into a mobile arts space, his artist/architect led collective Trashumante finally unveiled Avion at the international art fair ARCO in Madrid. In 2009 Marc Rees was selected to represent Wales in the UK-wide project Artists Taking the Lead as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. His winning proposal was to bring Avion from its home in Huesca, northern Spain to travel around Wales. Rees acting as the planes Captain became the temporary custodian of this extraordinary sculptural object, celebrating the twentieth anniversary of its conception with an international cultural exchange titled “Adain Avion”.

Photo by Philip Andrews

Alongside “Captain” Marc Rees were 6 Stewardesses – The AAA Troupe [Adain Avion Attendants] played beautifully by ‘Kitsch ‘n Sync Collective‘ and decked out in dresses designed by Melyn Tregwynt  they performed routines around the plane, town and Mostyn Gallery creating a homage to the town’s theatrical entrepreneur Will Catlin who hired Pierrot groups and strategically placed them about town to publicise his shows. Will Catlin’s daughter Margot worked with dancer and choreographer Cai Tomos to develop a performance which took place on the site where Will once built her a roller skating rink.

Local Artists Nick Elphick, Tim Pugh and Wendy Couling staged exhibitions and workshops within the plane, and artists selected from the Helfa Gelf Open Studios Arts Trail took part in a sound and video installation. Aeroplane related films played on screens inside the fuselage and each morning the plane hosted a different fitness class.

The events, exhibitions and performances where all recorded and along with the footage from previous destinations will be edited to produce the planes ‘blackbox’ which will be presented by Marc Rees to the National History Museum at St.Fagans, Cardiff, where it will be archived in the Contemporary Folk Archive.

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By @badgemakesart

Area: Wales